Aly Raisman and Simone Biles are making their Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition debut. The two gold-winning Olympic gymnasts traded in their leotards for bikinis, and struck fierce poses celebrating their bodies inside this year's issue.
Aly, 22, and Simone, 19, who will attend the VIBES by Sports Illustrated festival in Houston on February 17-18, stepped in front of the camera at various spots – Houston's North Houston Skate Park, the World Champions Center and the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden – for photographer James Macari. Aly took to her Instagram on Tuesday to celebrate the honor.
"WOWWW what an honor to be featured in @si_swimsuit 2017. THANK YOU to @mj_day & the SI team for including me in this issue. I'm very proud of my body and how hard I have worked to look like this," she wrote in part next to the image from the shoot. "I of course like everyone else have my days where I feel insecure and not at my best. BUT I think it is that much more important we love our bodies and support each other."
The six-time Olympic medalist continued: "It is 2017 and there is NO perfect or ideal body type. SI SWIM celebrates women for being unique and beautiful in our own way which is why I am so happy to be a part of it. THANK YOU @jamesmacari."
Simone also took to her Instagram account to celebrate her latest achievement. "So excited to make my @SI_Swimsuit debut in the 2017 issue! https://t.co/KVGM0T7LDK | So happy to be a part of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition," she wrote next to the photo of her rocking a bikini and balancing on a beam. "Where athletes bodies can be beautiful too. No matter what anyone tells you, have confidence in your own body. OWN IT Thanks you @mj_day for the opportunity!."
Aly and Simone weren't the only ones celebrating their SI appearance. Fellow gymnast and Team USA teammate Laurie Hernandez was just as excited for the the girls, who she calls her "sisters."
"I'm so happy for them," the Dancing with the Stars champion shared on Thursday's Ellen DeGeneres Show. "These girls are like my sisters. Simone and Aly they look gorgeous. It really excites me to see that Sports Illustrated is promoting strong and powerful bodies out there."